Book Review: Tin God by Stacy Green

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I should have know when I saw the spelling of the main character’s first name that this wasn’t going to be a great book. Who spells a name Jaymee? I’ve always been a fan of the traditional spelling of a name, not this “my kid is special and so is the spelling of their name” crap that has been going on for the last decade. But, I digress. The story wasn’t horrible, just fairly predictable. Jaymee is broke and living in a trailer park while working at a diner. She’s saving up so she can afford a lawyer to get back the daughter she was coerced into giving up for adoption … Read more…

Book Review: Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen

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Imaginary Things is the story of Anna Jennings and her son, Davey. She got pregnant while still in high school and the father turned out to be unstable and he is not in their lives. Now, at 22, she has just lost her job and she’s forced to move in with her grandparents in a small town near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Strange things begin to happen as soon as they start settling in to their new life. Davey has an imaginary dinosaur friend, but Anna can see it. She had an imaginary friend for many years, but has forgotten much of her childhood. A friend from her past moves back into town to … Read more…

Book Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

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I’m a fan of Richelle Mead and I’ve read the entire Vampire Academy Series. It’s about two main characters, Rose and Lissa. Rose is a dhampir, half human/half vampire and Lissa is a Moroi, a magic wielding vampire. The series tells the story of the struggles and heartbreak they go through trying to keep Lissa alive as she is the last Dragomir, the last Moroi of her line. Her new series, Bloodlines, starts shortly after the VA series ends and tells the story of Alchemist, Sydney Sage, who makes a few appearances througout the VA series. Sydney is sent on a “babysitting” assignment at a human high school to ensure … Read more…

Book Review: The Funny Thing About War by Al Campo

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[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author and/or publisher. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] The Funny Thing About War by Al Campo is part fictional War story and part autobiography. It is the story of a young, 22 year old man called to duty in the Navy and then sent to Southeast Asia as a crewman on a Destroyer conducting fire missions up and down the coast of North and South Vietnam. The book itself is 413 pages of text separated into eleven chapters. Because it is ostensibly a work of fiction there is … Read more…

Book Review: Old Soldiers by David Weber

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Old Soldiers is an older book but one I just got around to reading.  It is another foray by David Weber into the Concordiat universe created by Keith Laumer and populated by the sentient AI tanks known as BOLOs.

I you have read Weber’s earlier book Bolo! then you will understand the back story of the two main characters.  Menaka Trevor and the BOLO Lazarus.  Both were featured in a novella in that anthology.  This book picks up after the events in BOLO! with what the Concordiat does with Trevor and Lazarus after they are the only survivors f their battalion following the defense of the planet Chartres against a Melconian attack.

Spoilers below!

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Book Review: BOLO! by David Weber

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Bolo! by David Weber is kind of an anthology and kind of a series of related novels, I cannot decide which.  Regardless, it is a solid offering from Weber, of Honorverse fame.  The book is 388 pages and consists of 4 chronologically arranged BOLO stories with an annex on the technical characteristics of the evolution of the BOLO. If you are not familiar with the super tanks known as BOLOs from the books of Keith Laumer this is a good introductory book that will make you want to go read more from Laumer, the guy that invented the concept.  Weber does a solid job of telling these stories as he does … Read more…

Review: Gulf War Ghosts by W.P. Armstrong

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I will admit up front that I normally shy away from historical fiction like it is the plague.  Gulf War Ghosts has made me rethink that position.  This is historical fiction that uses a historical period as the setting but dos not try to play what if games with events.  The setting is the immediate aftermath of the first Gulf war and the plot revolves around mysterious attacks on several American soldiers. With the exception of one mistake one of my biggest pet peeves about any writing having to do with military units was a non-issue.  That is, he gets the format and style of unit designations correct.  There is none … Read more…

Book Review- Starship Grifters by Robert Kroese

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Starship Grifters is a mix of Slanted Jack, Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Mort from Discworld. This book takes you on a hilarious, fast-paced adventure as a scam artist skips from one crisis and scam to another always staying one step ahead of disaster. The pop culture references and double entendres are skillfully woven into a great story you won’t want to put down. Rex Nihilo and his hilarious adventure left me wanting more. I find that humor in fiction is hard to write and there are very few books touted as humorous that can get me to laugh out loud thus garnering strange looks from people around me.  This book is one … Read more…

Book Review: Under a Graveyard Sky & To Sail a Darkling Sea by John Ringo

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Under a Graveyard Sky & To Sail a Darkling Sea together are yet another excellent offering from John Ringo, one of the masters at writing combat sci fi today.  These are the first two books in the Black Tide Rising series, the next book in the series, Islands of Rage and Hope is due for release in August, 2014. The concept behind the series is the Zombie Apocalypse, a popular theme in fiction in the past 5-10 years.  This is a variation on that theme with the difference being that the zombies are not undead, they are still alive just infected.  The zombies have been infected with a virus that essentially eliminates higher order thinking … Read more…

Book Review: Power Games by Richard Peters

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[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] I get 5-10 requests a month from publishers and authors to review their books here on B&BR and usually accept 3-4 of them because I don’t have as much time to read as I would like.  When Richard Peters, the author of Power Games: Operation Enduring Unity I contacted me and inquired about reviewing his book I had a stack of 5 other books I was working through and initially almost turned him down for lack of time.  Man, am I glad I did … Read more…

Book Review: Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

Formic Wars Graphic Novel variant cover art by Bryan Hitch.

Earth Unaware is the first book of the Formic War trilogy, which is the prequel to the The Ender Quartet that first appeared in the 1980’s.  It essentially tells the story of how earth and humanity got into the position of developing Battle School and the fleets that Ender uses to wipe out the Formics in Ender’s Game. This book starts off with rather a whimper but quickly picks up speed and keeps you glues to the pages.  I got the distinct impression that my wife was annoyed because I would not put the book down in the evenings while I was reading it.  Anyone who has read the Ender Quartet will … Read more…

Book Review: Slow Apocalypse by John Varley

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Slow Apocalypse by John Varley is one of those books that only come along once every few years.  It is a book that makes you think without even realizing it.  The first Varley book I ever read was Steel Beach and Slow Apocalypse is on a par with that book.  It is an absorbing read and somewhat of a morality tale. The book itself 438 pages long and I would guess it runs about 60,000 words. The premise is interesting and plausible.  Imagine some mad scientist developing a bacteria that breaks the hydrogen bonds in petroleum turning oil into worthless sludge.  That is what happens in this book.  The story itself follows the … Read more…

Book Review: The Lotus Eaters by Tom Kratman

The Lotus Eaters is the third installment of the Legio del Cid series by Mr Kratman. The book picks up after the Legion has successfully pacified Pashtia and returned to Balboa. Its takes place mainly in Balboa as the Legion prepares for their inevitable showdown with the corrupt rump regime protected by the Tauran Union in their enclave near the Balboan Transitway. This is an obvious stepping stone book that fleshes out the story and provides more background rather than really advancing the plot line of the series. If I were a cynic I would say that this appears to be a mash up of all the mini-plots Mr. Kratman … Read more…

Book Promotion: The Mogadishu Diaries: Bloodlines by Eddie Thompkins

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Loyal readers, I was approached by Mr Thompkins via email about reviewing his novel The Mogadishu Diaries: Bloodlines. This is a self-published work and one I will not be able to read for at least a month because of the pile of other books I have recently gotten from publishers. I plan on reading this book and writing up a review on it but in the meantime in the interests of encouraging other people to write and giving them a chance to publicize their own work I offered to let him post a promotional piece here at Battles & Book Reviews. Below is the text he sent me to promote … Read more…

Book Review: 11/22/1963 by Stephen King

I will say up front that I have read every book by Stephen King.   He generally hits it out of the park but he has had some books that I just hated, Gerald’s Game and The Dark Tower Series come immediately to mind as duds. 11/22/63 is not one of them.   It is a great book that you won’t want to put down until the end. Ostensibly, this is the story of a man who goes back in time to try and stop the assassination of JFK in Dealey Plaza.   That is how it starts and for the first little bit you will think that is all it is about. … Read more…